Wright State (13-16) at Youngstown State (14-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 23rd, 7:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,500) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Wright State 9-7, Youngstown State 8-3. Away Record: Wright State 4-8, Youngstown State 6-10. Neutral Record: Wright State 1-1, Youngstown State 0-0. Conference Record: Wright State 7-9, Youngstown State 9-7. Series Record: Wright State leads, 36-7.
GAMES NOTES: Youngstown State will be looking to make up for a heartbreaking loss from earlier in the season when Wright State comes to the Beeghly Center for a Horizon League battle.
Wright State's Armond Battle sank a go-ahead free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining to give the Raiders a 63-62 win over the Penguins on December 3rd. The win adds to Wright State's dominating advantage in the all-time series which now stands at 36-7 and was the ninth straight victory for the Raiders in the series.
The Raiders will hope that a win in non-conference play on Saturday propels them toward the end of the regular season. With its 76-62 win over UMKC as part of the BracketBuster series, Wright State has now won two of the last three games after losing three straight to open the month. The Raiders are still a distant eighth in the conference standings at 7-9 and will conclude the season on Saturday on the road against league leading Cleveland State.
Youngstown State was unable to get a win in BracketBuster play as the Penguins fell 71-68 to Austin Peay on Saturday. The loss was the third in four games for the Penguins who are currently three spots ahead of Wright State in the conference standings with a 9-7 mark. Youngstown State hosts Detroit on Saturday in its regular-season finale.
Wright State shot an impressive 57.8 percent from the floor including 10-of-17 from three point range on Saturday to run up the win over UMKC. The Raiders were especially hot in the first period converting on 65.4 percent of its shots in the first twenty minutes.
Julius Mays poured in 25 points to lead the Raiders in the recent win including hitting a season-high five three pointers. Mays (14.4 ppg) is the team's leading scorer this season and the only player averaging in double figure, doing so with a solid 40.7 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. With limited scoring depth after Mays, Wright State has not been a high- scoring team this season putting in just 58.5 points per game as a team which is better than only Loyola-Chicago. The Raiders haven't been run out of the gym in every game due to its defense (60.7 points per game against). Wright State will need more performances from players like Johann Mpondo (4.0 ppg) who scored 14 points in the win on Saturday, if it hopes to make noise in the Horizon League Tournament.
Youngstown State let a 33-28 lead slip away in the second half in its 71-68 defeat to Austin Peay on Saturday. The Penguins surrendered a 15-2 run mid-way through the second period and fell behind 57-52 and never reclaimed the lead. The loss came despite a 13-of-29 performance from beyond the arc by the Penguins.
Unlike Wright State, Youngstown State has a number of scoring options on its roster. Sophomore guard Kendrick Perry (16.5 ppg, 3.9 apg) is the leader and was yet again on Saturday pouring in 20 points. Damian Eagle (10.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is the team's leading front line contributor and played well finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday. Blake Allen (13. 1ppg, 44.0 3P%) and Ashen Ward (10.3 ppg) have also been consistent scorers. Senior forward Dushawn Brooks (9.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is the fifth starter on a squad that does not get much production from its bench. The reserves are averaging only 8.5 points combined. The Penguins ride their five primary contributors to a 66.9 points per game average, which is third in the conference, while holding opponents to 65.3 points per game.
Although it does not get much from the bench, Youngstown State has more consistent contributors and doesn't rely solely on one player like Wright State does with Mays. Youngstown State's balance will carry it tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 71, Wright State 62
02/23 10:37:35 ET